"Coast Guard approved equipment" is equipment which has been approved by the Commandant of the U. S. Coast Guard and has been determined to be in compliance with U. S. Coast Guard specifications and regulations relating to the material, construction and performance of such equipment.
All children 12 years of age and younger are required to wear a Coast Guard approved PFD while on the open deck of a recreational boat except when anchored, moored, or aground. There are four basic things you should keep in mind about your personal flotation devices.
First, you must have one wearable device of the appropriate size on board for each person in the boat or each person being towed. (This applies to rowboats, sailboats, canoes and rafts as well as motorboats.)
Second, each device must be kept readily accessible. They should not be hidden below deck or stored in plastic bags. They should be worn or at least be close at hand where they can be reached quickly in an emergency.
Third, each device must be Coast Guard approved and bear the approval stamp and number.
Fourth, each device must be in good condition and be of the appropriate size for the person intended to wear it. The straps must be firmly affixed, there should be no rips, tears or holes which will affect the operating efficiency of the device, and there should be no leaks in the plastic bags containing the flotation material (this can be checked by squeezing each bag and listening for escaping air.)
All boats, including canoes and kayaks, must be equipped with one wearable personal flotation device for each person on board or for each person being towed on water skis, etc.
Boats 16 feet in length or over must also be equipped with one Type IV (throwable) PFD per boat in case someone falls overboard.
Inflatable Flotation Devices
There are a wide variety of inflatable life jackets available. To be accepted as one of the required life jackets on board, the device must have a Coast Guard approval stamp on it. If it is approved as a Type V, it must be worn to be accepted. Inflatable devices of any kind are not acceptable for persons less than 16 years old or for personal watercraft operation.
These are not on the approved list of flotation devices and are not recommended for your safety. A ski belt may not be counted as one of the required pieces of equipment on board any boat. A ski belt may be worn while skiing but an approved flotation device for the skier must be on the towing boat.
Boats are 26 feet or longer, transport passengers for hire, have one or more of the following:
Permanently installed fuel tanks. These are defined as:
Tanks which require the removal of screws or bolts to remove them from the boat.
Tanks that when filled cannot be easily or readily handled by one person on board.
Each fire extinguisher is classified by letter and Roman numeral according to the type of fire it will extinguish, and the size of the extinguisher.
The "letter" indicates the Type of fire:
Extinguishers approved for motorboats are hand portable, of either B-I or B-II classification for gasoline, oil and grease fires.
|Coast Guard Classes||B-I||B-II|
|Carbon Dioxide (lbs)||4||15|
|Dry Chemicals (lbs)||2||10|
Dry chemical fire extinguishers without gauges or indicating devices must be weighed and tagged every six months.
Check extinguishers regularly to be sure that gauges are free and showing fully charged and nozzle is clear.
Number of Fire Extinguishers Needed:
A permanently installed fire extinguisher in an engine compartment may be substituted for one B-I extinguisher on any class of vessel.
Read labels on fire extinguishers; the extinguisher must say U. S. Coast Guard approved or U. L. listed for marine use.
Inboard mounted gasoline engines installed in a motorboat or motor vessel after April 25, 1940, must have a flame arrester fitted to the carburetor for backfire flame control.
Vessels with closed gasoline engine compartments must be ventilated. Boats built after July 31, 1980, must be ventilated by a powered exhaust blower system. Boats built before that date must have at least one intake and one exhaust duct fitted with cowls for the removal of explosive fumes. The intake duct should be vented from outside the boat to midway of the compartment or to a level below the carburetor air intake. The exhaust duct should be vented from the lower portion of the engine compartment to the outside of the boat.
Vessels with enclosed fuel tank compartments must be ventilated like the description above. An exception is made if the boat meets the following requirements:
Vessels less than 39 feet 4 inches (12 meters) are not specifically required to carry a whistle, horn or bell but they must have some means of making an "efficient sound signal."
Vessels over 39 feet 4 inches (12 meters) are required to carry a bell and a powered whistle or horn.
Visual distress signals are not required for boaters using Tennessee waters. They are desirable to have on any boat but are only required for boats using coastal waters and the Great Lakes. Boaters using those waters should obtain the exact requirements based on the length of their boat and whether they will be operating at night.
Marine sanitation device laws apply to boats with installed heads (commodes). Sanitation devices are classified by types. Types I & II treat sewage and then discharge it into the water. A Type III is a holding tank which retains the waste until it is pumped out at a marina or other facility. The following is a summary of the M.S.D. laws:
|Discharge Reservoirs||No Discharge Reservoirs|
|Barkley||Beech River Lakes|
|Cumberland River||Dale Hollow|
|Kentucky||Ft. Patrick Henry|
|Melton Hill||J. Percy Priest|
|Mississippi River||Lake Graham|
|South Holston||Tims Ford|
Federal law requires that all vessels 26 feet and over must display one or more pollution placards (signs) in a prominent location so that it can be read by the crew and passengers.
The placard must: